Pramila Vasudevan

She // Her // Hers
They // Them // Theirs

[ID: A tan person with short black hair and a mole just above the left side of her lip looks into the camera. She wears a dark blue shirt speckled with white dots.]

Choreographer and Transdisciplinary Artist
St. Paul, MN
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Pramila Vasudevan is a movement-centered artist, cultural worker, and maker of community-rooted/routed transdisciplinary work. Vasudevan is the founder and artistic director of Aniccha Arts (est. 2004), an experimental arts collaborative producing site-specific performances that examine agency, voice, and group dynamics within community histories, institutions, and systems.

She is a 2017 Guggenheim fellow and a 2016 McKnight fellow in choreography. Vasudevan has been invested in cultivating art spaces and artist growth as the director of Naked Stages (2016–21), a fellowship program for early-career performance artists at Pillsbury House Theatre, and as a teaching artist with Upstream Arts (2015–19), which activates and amplifies the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities at every stage of life.

She is of Tamil descent and has been living and working in the Twin Cities, on stolen Dakota land, for the past twenty-plus years. Her current practice involves gardening, hosting conversations and community gatherings, and developing improvisational movement sessions inspired by growing practices in gardens and greenhouses and by plant cycles in the urban wild.

Her work engages with physical sites, ranging from human-constructed locations (like a suburban parking ramp) to natural environments (such as along the Mississippi River). In this process, she learns about the site’s history and current uses, the people that have come and gone, the embedded politics, and the materials that physically make it what it is. In responding artistically, Vasudevan orients from the body while layering in other media (sound, drawings, sculptural elements, and so on) that illuminate a multiplicity of perspectives.

Portrait photo by Tim Rummelhoff.